The windows are open, autumnal sunshine is pouring into my kitchen, and the sound of the Howard Homecoming is echoing down the block–the perfect day to put freshly-picked apples to use!
In the beginning of September, I messed around with this thing called frangipane and the results were underwhelming. I swore not to be outdone by the French and their delicacies (NB: yes, the word “frangipane” is clearly Italian, but Wikipedia tells me it used to be “franchipane,” which is apparently French… so I can still blame the fussiness of this almond filling on the French! Sorry, Sarkozypoo!) and I have finally circled back around to conquer this beast.
And conquer it I have.
Let’s back up. Earlier this month, I met CousinKef and BabyKef for some fun fall activities that resulted in about 20 lbs of apples sitting in my kitchen waiting to be transformed into autumnal treats.
|Why, yes, that IS what 19.3 lbs of apples look like!|
Flash forward about two weeks, and we’re in spinning class on a beautiful Saturday morning (why I didn’t just ride my damn bike in this gorgeous weather is neither here nor there). The way-too-peppy-for-8am instructor is talking some mess about how good the burn feels when it hits me: I am going to apple-ize the frangi-whatever and it is going to be delicious.
The result was amazing! This may be the creation I am most proud of since I made those out-of-this-word pork chops. There are three components, but none is particularly time consuming. I simplified the process by using a pre-mixed gluten-free pie crust (it is not a pie crust mix, per se, as you still have to add several ingredients–it just pre-combines all the weird flours you have to buy for $8.99/cup into one $3.69 mix and is enough for two pies. Awesome.)
I came, I saw, I frangipaned. You’re welcome.
Apple Frangipane With Maple Glaze
- Pie crust of your choice. I used the Glutino Gluten-Free Pantry Perfect Pie Crust Mix (which requires you to add baking powder, egg, butter, shortening, water, and vinegar). You can do whatever you’d like).
- 2 c almond flour/meal
- 2 TBS liquor of choice–dark rum or cognac would be good, I used Godiva chocolate liquor because THAT is what your girl keeps around for emergencies, apparently
- 1 stick of butter, cold and cut into TBS portions
- zest of 1 lemon
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/3-1/2c honey
- 1 large or 2 small sweet apples, peeled and sliced thinly
- 2 TBS butter, melted
- 6 TBS maple syrup (the 100% real stuff–please do not let me find you using IHOP brand or some crap like that.)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 425. Whatever pie crust you are using should be cold, so if you made it yourself, put it in a pie or tart pan and let chill in freezer. Once it has chilled for about 20 minutes, poke fork holes all over it and cover the tips with either a wreath of tin foil or a pie-crust shield. Cook until crust is just turning golden brown, which will depend on the crust but will probably take about 12-15 minutes. Set aside to cool. Reduce oven heat to 375.
2. Combine almond flour, liquor, lemon zest, lemon juice, and honey (start with 1/3 c honey and proceed to step 3. If at the end of step 3 the frangipane is not sweet enough for you, add honey and mix until you like the taste.) A food processor or blender would be easiest, but if you do not have one then stirring vigorously will be just fine.
3. Cut in the butter one TBS at a time until a thick, gooey paste has formed–again, I did this in my food processor and it took about 1 minute, but you can do it the old-fashioned way with a pastry blender or potato masher. (If you want to add more honey, now is the time.) Set aside.
4. To make the glaze, mix together melted butter, maple syrup, and cinnamon. Put thinly-sliced apples in a bowl and toss with maple glaze.
5. Place the frangipane (almond mix) in the cooled pie crust and level off with a rubber spatula. Arrange soaked apple slices however you would like on top in a single layer. Pour remaining maple glaze evenly over the tart. You will probably have a few gooey apple slices left over–eat them!
6. Cook tart until center is firm to touch, it took my little oven about 40 minutes–just start checking around 30 minutes or so. Let cool, enjoy! For added sweetness, whip up a half batch of maple glaze and drizzle a few drops on pieces immediately before serving.